Monday, November 19, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Cryptic Diversity within the Megophrys major Species Group (Megophryidae) of the Asian Horned Frogs: Phylogenetic Perspectives and A Taxonomic Revision of South Asian Taxa, with Descriptions of Four New Species


Megophrys himalayana 
Mahony, Kamei, Teeling & Biju, 2018


 Abstract
The Megophrys major species group (MMSG) is composed of typically medium to large sized frogs. Within the genus, it is the most geographically widespread clade ranging from the western Himalayas to southern Indochina. In this study, we examined in detail the extent of cryptic diversity within the MMSG-Indian populations based on molecular data (up to ten genes) using multigene concatenation and coalescent-based phylogenetic techniques, species delimitation analyses and extensive morphological data.

Molecular evidence suggests a high level of hidden cryptic diversity within the MMSG, particularly within the M. major species complex (MMC), highlighting overlapping distributions, a case of potential mitochondrial transfer between two species, and tree topology discordance between phylogenetic methods and mitochondrial and nuclear data sets. Most analyses indicated distinct eastern and western clades in the MMC, and that the western clade may further divide into a northern and a southern subclade.

A detailed taxonomic review of Indian members of the Megophrys major species group is provided. Previously undocumented complex nomenclatural issues involving known species are highlighted and resolved. Megophrys monticola is taxonomically redefined for the first time as a valid species since its synonymy with M. parva in 1893. The taxonomic status of two recently described species, Xenophrys katabhako and X. sanu are discussed in light of increased molecular and morphological sampling, and are synonymised with M. monticola. Megophrys monticola and M. robusta are redescribed based on their original type specimens and recently collected material. Megophrys major is neotypified and M. robusta lectotypified to remove prevailing nomenclatural instability. Four new large sized Indian MMC species are formally described from the Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland, and Myanmar. All South Asian MMSG species are morphologically diagnosed from known congeners in the group. The geographic distributions of all taxa discussed are significantly redefined based on the revised taxonomy and extensive literature review. Morphological and molecular evidence suggests that Megophrys major sensu stricto might be endemic to Northeast India; M. glandulosa is formally removed from the Indian and Bhutan species checklists. Numerous misidentifications in literature are highlighted and corrected. In order to reduce future misidentifications of species reported from surrounding regions, high definition images of the holotypes of three Chinese species, M. glandulosa, M. medogensis and M. zhangi are provided for the first time, and a detailed description of Myanmar specimens of M. glandulosa is also given. This study provides the principle foundation for further research into the taxonomic status of the remaining, currently undescribed MMC taxa from Southeast Asia.

Keywords: Reptilia, nomenclature, molecular systematics, integrative taxonomy, morphology, conservation, natural history




Stephen Mahony, Rachunliu G. Kamei, Emma C. Teeling and S. D. Biju. 2018. Cryptic Diversity within the Megophrys major Species Group (Amphibia: Megophryidae) of the Asian Horned Frogs: Phylogenetic Perspectives and A Taxonomic Revision of South Asian Taxa, with Descriptions of Four New Species. Zootaxa. 4523(1); 1–96.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4523.1.1

     

Deuti K, Grosjean S, Nicolas V, Vasudevan K and Ohler A. 2017. Nomenclatural puzzle in early Xenophrys nomina (Anura, Megophryidae) solved with description of two new species from India (Darjeeling hills and Sikkim). Alytes. 34:20-48.  alytes-journal.org/xenophrys-new-species-india/

[Botany • 2018] Five New Species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from Indochina and Thailand: Syzygium honbaense, S. phamhoangii, S. yersinii, S. phoukhaokhouayense & S. scabrum


ຫວ້າພູ  ||  Syzygium phoukhaokhouayense Soulad., Tagane & Yahara

in Tagane, Dang, Souladeth, Nagamasu, Toyama, et al., 2018. 
 Photographs: S. Tagane

 Abstract
Five new species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae), Syzygium honbaenseSphamhoangii and S. yersinii from Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, Sphoukhaokhouayense from Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, Vientiane Province, Laos, and S. scabrum from Bung Khla, Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary, Buengkan Province, Thailand, are described and illustrated. Photographs, vernacular names and preliminary conservation assessments are provided for them.

Keywords: Flora, Laos, Myrtales, new species, Thailand, taxonomy, Vietnam, Eudicots


Syzygium honbaense Tagane, V.S.Dang & Yahara, sp. nov.
TYPE:— VIETNAM. Khanh Hoa Province, Mt. Hon Ba, ...

Syzygium honbaense is distinct from all the other Syzygium species in the region by having terminal inflorescences with 3 to 5 reddish flowers, ca. 1.1 cm long hypanthium and relatively smaller leaves, to 7.2 × 2.7 cm

Distribution:—Vietnam (so far only known from the type locality, Mt. Hon Ba). 
Habitat and Ecology:—Hill evergreen forest, at ca. 1200 m elevation. 

 Etymology:— The new species is named after the type locality, Hon Ba Nature Reserve in Khanh Hoa Province of Vietnam.
 Vernacular name:— Trâm hòn bà.

Note:— Among the Syzygium species having relatively large (hypanthium > 1 cm in diam.) and reddish to purplish flowers in Indochina, S. honbaense is easily distinguished from the other species by a combination of its smallest leaves ((1.7–)2.6–7.2 cm long vs. longer than (6–)12 cm) and terminal inflorescences. 


Syzygium phamhoangii Tagane, V.S.Dang & Yahara, sp. nov. 
TYPE:—VIETNAM. Khanh Hoa Province, Mt. Hon Ba, ...

Syzygium phamhoangii is similar to Syzygium balsameum (Wight 1841: 16) Walpers (1843: 179) in the shape of leaves and axillary inflorescences but distinguished by its obtuse to slightly cordate leaf base (vs. cuneate to long attenuate), shorter petioles ((1–)2–4 mm long vs. 4–15 mm long), larger hypanthium (3.5–4 mm long vs. 2.5–3.5 mm long) and more ovules per locule in ovary (12–16 ovules vs. 3–8 ovules).

Distribution:—Vietnam (so far only known from the type locality, Mt. Hon Ba). 
Habitat and Ecology:—Hill evergreen forest, at ca. 920 m elevation. 

 Etymology:— The specific epithet is chosen in honor of the excellent Vietnamese botanist Prof. Dr. Phạm Hoàng Hộ, who significantly contributed to the study of the flora of Vietnam. 
Vernacular name:— Trâm phạm hoàng hộ.


Syzygium yersinii Tagane, V.S.Dang & Yahara, sp. nov. 
TYPE:— VIETNAM. Khanh Hoa Province, Mt. Hon Ba, ...

Syzygium yersinii is similar to S. chantaranothaianum Soh & Parnell (2012: 558) in ovate-oblong leaf shape, very short petioles and terminal inflorescences but differs in having larger and thicker leaves (thickly coriaceous in S. yersinii vs. subcoriaceous in S. chantaranothaianum), reticulate tertiary vein (vs. scalariform) and larger flowers (hypanthium 1.8 cm long vs. 0.8–1 cm long).

Distribution:— Vietnam (so far only known from the type locality, Mt. Hon Ba). 
Habitat and Ecology:— Hill evergreen forest, at 890–920 m elevation. 

 Etymology:— This species is named after Dr. Alexandre Emile Jean Yersin (1863–1943), a Swiss-French, for his contributions to the exploration of the Hon Ba mountain. 
 Vernacular name:—Trâm yersin.

Note:— Lee et al. (2014: 398) identified this species as Syzygium formosum (Wallich 1831: 108) Mason (1851: 554) but S. yersinii is easily distinguished from S. formosum by its opposite leaves (vs. usually whorled in S. formosum) and terminal inflorescences (vs. in the axils of fallen leaves). The leaf texture and venation when dry is very similar to S. grande (Wight 1841: 17) Walpers (1843: 180), but differs from S. grande in its small habit (4 m tall vs. usually more than 20 m tall), subsessile leaves (vs. petiolate in S. grande) and more or less slightly cordate leaf base (vs. cuneate).


FIGURE 4. Syzygium phoukhaokhouayense Soulad., Tagane & Yahara. 
A) Flowering branch, B) Portion of lower leaf surface, C) Bark, D) Young shoot, E & F) Flowers. 
Photographs: A–F for Yahara et al. L1827,
 taken by S. Tagane on 26 Dec. 2017.
Syzygium phoukhaokhouayense Soulad., Tagane & Yahara, sp. nov. 
 TYPE:—LAOS. Vientiane Province, Thoulakhom district, Ban Pa Paek, Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, ...

Syzygium phoukhaokhouayense is similar to S. syzygioides (Miquel 1855: 431) Merrill & Perry (1938: 109) but differs in having coriaceous leaves (vs. chartaceous to subcoriaceous in S. syzygioides), longer petiole (7–12 mm long vs. 3–5 mm long), larger and reddish-purple hypanthium (4.1–4.5 mm long vs. ca. 3 mm long, greenish), longer styles (ca. 5 mm long vs. ca. 8.3 mm long) and fewer ovules per locule in ovary (4–5 per locule in S. phoukhaokhouayense vs. 10–14 per locule in S. syzygioides). Also, it is apparently similar to S. lineatum (De Candolle 1828: 287) Merrill & Perry (1938: 109) but easily distinguished by having more secondary veins (28–32 pairs in S. phoukhaokhouayense vs. 16–20 pairs in S. lineatum) and single intramarginal veins (vs. 2).

Distribution:—Laos (so far only known from Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area). 
 Habitat and Ecology:—Open pine forest, at 905 m elevation.  

Etymology:— The species epithet refers to the geographical location of the find, Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area. 
 Vernacular name:— ຫວ້າພູ (Wa Phou). 

Note:— The matK sequence of S. phoukhaokhouayense is identical with S. syzygioides (783/783 bp for GenBank accession no. AB924771 and AB925281, 780 bp for AB924710 and AB924734, 768/768 bp for AB924947). However, S. phoukhaokhouayense is easily distinguished from S. syzygioides by the diagnostic characters mentioned above, such as the differences in leaf thickness, length of petiole and style, and colour of hypanthium.


FIGURE 5. Syzygium scabrum Tagane, Soulad. & Yahara. 
A) Leafy twig, B) Portion of lower leaf surface, C) Inflorescence, D) Flowers and flower buds, E) Young fruit, F) Fruit and seed. 
Photographs: A­ & B for Yahara et al. L1727, taken by S. Tagane on Dec. 2017; 
C & D for Souladeth 86, taken by P. Sutthisaksopon on 24 May 2011; 
E & F for Phonsena et al. 7280 taken by P. Phonsena on 22 Nov. 2015.

Syzygium scabrum Tagane, Soulad. & Yahara, sp. nov. 
TYPE:—THAILAND. Buengkan Province, Bung Khla, Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary, ...

Syzygium scabrum is similar to S. vestitum Merrill & Perry (1938: 110) in having reddish brown hairs on twigs, leaves and hypanthium, but differs in having more or less cordate leaf base (vs. broadly cuneate to rounded in S. vestitum), scabrid on both sides of leaf surfaces (vs. glabrous except on veins on abaxial side, never scabrid on adaxial side), more secondary veins (16–30 pairs vs. 10–16 pair) and longer styles (8–15.5 mm long vs. 6 mm long).

Distribution:— Laos (Vientiane Province: Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area), Thailand (Nakhon Phanom Province: Phu Langka National Park, Buengkan Province: Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary). 
 Habitat and Ecology:—In hill evergreen forest, at altitudes of 690–770 m in Laos, and in dry evergreen forest at an altitude of 150 m in Thailand. 

 Etymology:—The species epithet refer to its nature of roughened (scabrid) surfaces of twigs and leaves caused by dense hairs. 
 Vernacular name:— หว้าขน (Wa Khon) (Thailand); ຫວ້າຂົນ (Wa Khon) (Laos).

Note 1:—This species has been confused with S. vestitum (type: Mt. Bana, Vietnam, J. & M.S. Clemens 3296, K, image!) by Souladeth & Meesawat (2012), Chantaranothai (2014), and Soh & Parnell (2015), but it is clearly distinguished from S. vestitum by the above diagnostic characters. Syzygium vestitum is restricted to northern to central Vietnam and southern China (southeast Yunnan) (Hô 2003, Chen & Craven 2007, from our field observations in SE Asia). The sequence of matK region of S. scabrum (GenBank accession no. LC381853) differs 7 bp of the total 760 bp from the S. vestitum (LC381852: Tagane et al. V2522 (FU!) from Bach Ma National Park, Central Vietnam, ca. 25 km apart from the type locality of S. vestitum), supporting the separation of the two species.


     


Shuichiro Tagane, Van-Son Dang, Phetlasy Souladeth, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Hironori Toyama, Akiyo Naiki, Kengo Fuse, Hop Tran , Cheng -Jui Yang, Amornrat Prajaksood and Tetsukazu Yahara. 2018.  Five New Species of Syzygium (Myrtaceae) from Indochina and Thailand.  Phytotaxa. 375(4); 247–260.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.375.4.1

   

[Botany • 2019] Didymocarpus middletonii (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from Limestone Area of central Laos [Nam Kading National Protected Area VI]


Didymocarpus middletonii   Souvann., Soulad. & Tagane

in Souvannakhoummane, Souladeth, Tagane, et al., 2019. 
ດອກລຳໂພງຫີນສີມ່ວງ | twitter.com/LaoBiodiversity

Abstract
Didymocarpus middletonii Souvann., Soulad. & Tagane, a new species of Gesneriaceae from Nam Kading National Protected Area, is described and illustrated. The new species is morphologically similar to Didymocarpus brevicalyx, D. formosus and D. puhoatensis but distinguished from the three by its fewer-flowered inflorescence, longer pedicel, and urceolate and multicellular eglandular hairy calyx. Based on the latest IUCN criteria, Didymocarpus middletonii is proposed to be Critically Endangered (CR). Our record of Didymocarpus represents a new genus record for the flora of Laos.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Didymocarpus brevicalyx, Didymocarpus formosus, Didymocarpus puhoatensis, Indochina, Laos, new taxa, taxonomy.


Fig. 1. Didymocarpus middletonii Souvann., Soulad. & Tagane.
 A, Habit; B, abaxial surface of lamina; C, inflorescence with flower (lateral view); D, flower (top view); E, dissected corolla, showing stamens and staminodes; F, multicellular glandular and eglandular hairs on pedicel; G, calyx and pistil; H, fertile stamens. Scale bars: A, 4 cm; B, 3 cm; C–E and G, 1 cm; F and H, 4 mm.
Drawn by K. Souvannakhoummane from Tagane et al. L1198 (FOF).

Fig. 2. Didymocarpus middletonii Souvann., Soulad. & Tagane in the type locality.
 A, Habit; B, abaxial surface of lamina; C, flower (front view); D, flower (lateral view). Scale bars: A, 4 cm; B–D, 1 cm.
Photographed by S. Tagane on 29 June 2017.

Didymocarpus middletonii Souvann., Soulad. & Tagane, sp. nov. 

Didymocarpus middletonii is similar to Didymocarpus brevicalyx Nangngam & D.J.Middleton, Didymocarpus formosus Nangngam & D.J.Middleton from Thailand and Didymocarpus puhoatensis X.Hong & F.Wen from Vietnam but differs from these three in having an urceolate calyx (versus campanulate) and a smaller corolla (c.3.4 cm long versus longer than 4.5 cm). 

– Type: Laos, Nam Kading National Protected Area, Bolikhamxai Province, ..., 665 m elevation, 29 vi 2017, Tagane, S., Souladeth, P., Okabe, N., Yang, C.-J. L1198 [fl.] (holo FOF; iso E, HNL, P). 


Distribution. Laos, Bolikhamxai Province (so far known only from the type locality). 

Habitat and ecology. Didymocarpus middletonii grows on shaded rocks, along a stream in semi-evergreen forest. Given that most of the individuals seen during our field survey had flower buds, the species should be in full bloom in July. 

Etymology. The specific epithet honours Dr David Middleton (Singapore Botanic Gardens), from whom we received the most generous advice regarding this new species.

Vernacular name. ດອກລຳໂພງຫີນສີມ່ວງ [Dok Lam Phong Hin Si Mouang (meaning: limestone purple funnel flower)].



K. Souvannakhoummane, P. Souladeth, S. Tagane, C.-J. Yang. and T. Yahara. 2019. Nam Kading National Protected Area VI: Didymocarpus middletonii (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from Limestone. Edinburgh Journal of Botany.  DOI: 10.1017/S0960428618000264

[Mammalogy • 2018] Mammals of Korea: A Review of Their Taxonomy, Distribution and Conservation Status


Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura  (Elliott 1871)

in Jo,  Baccus & Koprowski, 2018. 
 Mammals of Korea.... Zootaxa. 4522(1)

Abstract
The Korean Peninsula and its associated Pacific islands have a distinctive, yet poorly studied mammalian fauna. Korea was a land of invasions and wars for many centuries. The loss of large mammals per unit area that has occurred in Korea may have been greater than in any other country. The peninsula has a depauperate rodent community. The forests are mostly harvested, replaced by intensive agriculture. Unfortunately, the dissemination of information about the mammals of Korea and their taxonomy has been limited because most publications were written in Japanese or Korean. We provide an updated checklist of all the species of Korean mammals, including a review of their taxonomy, distribution, and conservation status based on information extracted from international museum collections, local survey databases (Wildlife Survey and National Nature-Environmental Survey, South Korea) and a literature review. We identify 84 species of terrestrial mammals and 43 species of marine mammals that occur, or once occurred, in Korea. Due to previous, erroneous identifications, we delisted three soricids, two vespertilionids, one phocid, one sciurid and one murid. In total, we confirm the presence in Korea of 127 species of mammals distributed in eight Orders and 32 Families. We provide dichotomous keys for the identification of all the Korean species of mammals together with updated distribution maps.

Keywords:  Checklist, Conservation status, Distribution map, Identification Key, Korean mammals


Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura  (Elliott 1871)


 Yeong-Seok Jo, John T. Baccus and John L. Koprowski. 2018.   Mammals of Korea: A Review of Their Taxonomy, Distribution and Conservation Status. Zootaxa. 4522(1); 1–216. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4522.1.1


Saturday, November 17, 2018

[Paleontology • 2019] Thanos simonattoi • A New Abelisauridae (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from São José do Rio Preto Formation, Upper Cretaceous of Brazil and Comments on the Bauru Group Fauna


Thanos simonattoi 
Delcourt & Iori, 2019

 DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1546700 
Art by Deverson da Silva (Pepi).

ABSTRACT
Abelisaurid theropods are well-know from the Cretaceous of several parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including South America, Madagascar, and Africa, but also in India and Europe. Abelisaurids are high-diverse among other theropods with several cervicocephalic specializations reaching medium/large sizes. In the present contribution, we describe a new abelisaurid (Thanos simonattoi, gen. et sp. nov.) from the São José do Rio Preto Formation, Bauru Group, Brazil (Upper Cretaceous). Thanos differs from other theropods by having a well-developed keel becoming wider and deeper posteriorly on the ventral surface; two lateral small foramina separated by a relative wide wall on each lateral surface of the centrum, and well-developed and deep prezygapophyseal spinodiapophyseal fossae. The closed sutures between the axis and odontoid suggest that Thanos had reached a subadult/adult stage before death. Thanos is phylogenetically related to Brachyrostra abelisaurid. The keel on the ventral axial centrum in abelisauroids is here interpreted as a homoplastic condition that became more pronounced towards the phylogeny. The presence of well-developed keel in Thanos suggests that this taxon could be more derived than other abelisaurids. Finally, even though abelisaurids could reach large sizes, Thanos shared the environment with a larger theropod that was probably close to Megaraptora.

KEYWORDS: Theropods, Brachyrostra, vertebra, axis, Thanos simonattoi

Figure 4. An interpretative picture of the paleoenvironment of São José do Rio Preto Formation (Santonian, Upper Cretaceous). The picture shows two specimens of Thanos simonattoi (on the right side) and titanosaur sauropods (on the mid and left sides).
 Art by Deverson da Silva (Pepi).

Systematic palaeontology 
Dinosauria Owen, 1842 
Theropoda Marsh, 1881 
Ceratosauria Marsh 1884 

Abelisauroidea Bonaparte and Novas, 1985 
Abelisauridae Bonaparte and Novas, 1985 

Brachyrostra Canale et al. 2009 

Thanos simonattoi gen. et sp. nov. 

Etymology: Genus name from the Greek thánato, meaning death and from the Marvel’s character Thanos, the Conquer, created by Jim Starlin. Species name in honor of Sérgio Simonatto, the discoverer of the specimen.

.....

Conclusion:
In the present contribution, we have described a new abelisaurid from the São José do Rio Preto Formation, Upper Cretaceous of Brazil. Thanos simonattoi is distinguished from other abelisaurids by having a combination of features: a well-developed keel on the ventral surface becoming wider and deeper posteriorly; two lateral small foramina separated by a relative wide wall and two welldeveloped and deep prezygapophyseal spinodiapophyseal fossae. The keel on the ventral axial centrum of Thanos is interpreted as a homoplastic condition that became more pronounced towards the phylogeny, suggesting that this taxon could be more derived than other abelisaurids. The presence of a medium-sized abelisaurid in the São José do Rio Preto Formation increases the record of theropods, suggesting a complex carnivorous fauna during the Upper Cretaceous of Bauru Group. More findings are needed to better understand the morphology and the internal relationships of Thanos simonattoi.


Rafael Delcourt and Fabiano Vidoi Iori. 2019. A New Abelisauridae (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from São José do Rio Preto Formation, Upper Cretaceous of Brazil and Comments on the Bauru Group Fauna. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1546700 
Méndez AH, Novas FE and Iori FV. 2014. New Record of Abelisauroid Theropods from the Bauru Group (Upper Cretaceous), São Paulo State, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia. 17(1). Citeseer: 23–32.

Friday, November 16, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Odorrana kweichowensis • A New Species of the Odorous Frog Genus Odorrana (Anura, Ranidae) from southwestern China


Odorrana kweichowensis  
Li, Xu, Lv, Jiang, Wei​ & Wang,. 2018

Guizhou Odorous Frog  || DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5695 

Abstract
The genus Odorrana is widely distributed in the mountains of East and Southeastern Asia. An increasing number of new species in the genus have been recognized especially in the last decade. Phylogenetic studies of the O. schmackeri species complex with wide distributional range also revealed several cryptic species. Here, we describe a new species in the species complex from Guizhou Province of China. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA indicated the new species as a monophyly clustered into the Odorrana clade and sister to O. schmackeri, and nuclear DNA also indicated it as an independent lineage separated from its related species. Morphologically, the new species can be distinguished from its congeners based on a combination of the following characters: (1) having smaller body size in males (snout-vent length (SVL) <43.3 mm); (2) head longer than wide; (3) dorsolateral folds absent; (4) tympanum of males large and distinct, tympanum diameter twice as long as width of distal phalanx of finger III; (5) two metacarpal tubercles; (6) relative finger lengths: II < I < IV < III; (7) tibiotarsal articulation reaching to the level between eye to nostril when leg stretched forward; (8) disks on digits with circum-marginal grooves; (9) toes fully webbed to disks; (10) the first subarticular tubercle on fingers weak; (11) having white pectoral spinules, paired subgular vocal sacs located at corners of throat, light yellow nuptial pad on the first finger in males.

Figure 6: Living Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov. from its type locality, Lengshihe Nature Reserve in Jinsha County, Guizhou Province, China.
 (A & B) Dorsolateral view and ventral view of an adult male (voucher number: CIBjs20150803002), respectively. (C & D) Dorsolateral view and ventral view of an adult female (voucher number: CIBjs20150803006), respectively. Photographs by S. Z. Li.

Figure 7: Color variations in Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov.
(A) and (B) Dorsolateral view and ventral view of an adult female from Jinsha County, Guizhou Province, China, respectively. (C) Dorsolateral view of a female from Meitan County, Guizhou Province, China. (D) Dorsolateral view of a female from Zheng’an County, Guizhou Province, China. Photographs by S. Z. Li.

Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov. is assigned to genus Odorrana based upon molecular phylogenetic analyses and the following morphological characters: dorsum is green; tips of digits dilated, tapering, disks with circum-marginal grooves, and vertical diameter longer than horizontal diameter in the disks; supernumerary tubercle below the base of fingers III and IV; feet fully webbed to disks, without tarsal fold; the first finger thick and nuptial pad distinct.

Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov. could be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: (1) having smaller body size in males (SVL <43.3 vs. SVL >48 mm in many other species); (2) head longer than wider; (3) dorsolateral folds absent; (4) tympanum of males large and distinct, tympanum diameter in males twice as long as width of distal phalanx of finger III; (5) two metacarpal tubercles; (6) relative finger lengths: II < I < IV < III; (7) tibiotarsal articulation reaching to the level between eye to nostril when leg stretched forward; (8) disks on digits with circum-marginal grooves; (9) toes fully webbed to disks; (10) the first subarticular tubercle on fingers weak; (11) having white pectoral spinules, paired subgular vocal sacs located at corners of throat, light yellow nuptial pad on the first finger in males.


Figure 10: Habitats of Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov.
(A) Habitats in the type locality, Lengshuihe Nature Reserve, Jinsha County, Guizhou Province, China; insert is the photo for one pair of amplexed male (smaller) and female (larger) found on the stone in the stream. (B) Habitats in Xieba Town, Zheng’an County, Guizhou Province, China. (C) Habitats in Shilian Town, Meitan County, Guizhou Province, China. Photographs by S. Z. Li.

Ecology: To present, Odorrana kweichowensis sp. nov. has been found in three localities: Lengshuihe Nature Reserve in Jinsha Co., Meitan Co. and Zheng’an Co. in Guizhou Prov. of China. Geographical distances between these localities were from 89 to 173 km. Population from the Lengshuihe Nature Reserve inhabited broad streams, and near the riparian areas, surrounded by evergreen broadleaved forests (Fig. 10A). Populations from Meitan Co. and Zheng’an Co. inhabited broad slow-flowing rivers surrounded by paddy field (Figs. 10B and 10C). All of the localities were at elevations 717–766 m. All adult individuals that we found appear on the stones in the streams at night (07:30–12:00 pm) with water pH 6.8–7.1 and water temperature 15–23 °C. Tadpoles could be found at daytime and night. Amplexed individuals could be found in the streams in the type locality (Fig. 10A). Three sympatric amphibian species Fejervarya multistriata, Rana zhenhaiensis, and Polypedates megacephalus were found in Meitan Co. and Zheng’an Co., but only one sympatric amphibian species Amolops chunganensis was found in the Lengshuihe Nature Reserve in the type locality.


Etymology: The specific epithet “kweichowensis” refers to the distribution of this species, Guizhou Prov., China. The “kweichow” is an old spelling and a transliteration for “Guizhou.” We propose the common English name “Guizhou Odorous Frog” for this species.


Conclusion: 
We described a new species of the odorous frog genus Odorrana (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae) from Guizhou Prov. of China, and provide evidence for its phylogenetic allocations. O. kweichowensis sp. nov. was only known from a narrow range in the northwestern part of Guizhou Prov. of China, and occurred from mountain streams at mid and low elevations similar to most odorous frogs. In our fieldwork, the new species was found to be seriously threatened by local villagers and construction of dams and roads. Thus, further more detailed investigations on the species are urgent to ascertain its distributional range and population status. With our description, we contributed to a better knowledge of the diversity of the genus Odorrana in the southwestern China, and thus suggested that more comprehensive phylogeographic studies would highlight radiation patterns of the group.




Shize Li, Ning Xu, Jingcai Lv, Jianping Jiang, Gang Wei​ and Bin Wang​. 2018. A New Species of the Odorous Frog Genus Odorrana (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae) from southwestern China. PeerJ 6:e5695.  DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5695

        

      

[Botany • 2018] Bulbophyllum chrysolabium (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae) • A New Species from Yunnan, China


Bulbophyllum chrysolabium L. Li & D.P. Ye

in Li, Ye & Zeng, 2018. 

Abstract
Bulbophyllum chrysolabium, a new species belonging to section Racemosae from Yunnan, China is described and illustrated. The species is related to B. orientale and B. morphologorum, but differs by having the following set of characters: obliquely broadly-based triangular petals with a long filiform apex; lip densely glandular papillose and conspicuously ciliolate along margins; lip auricles well developed, narrowly falcate, tapering to a long sharp point at the apex; stelidia subulate and twisted inwards, slightly exceeding operculum. The conservation status of B. chrysolabium is assessed and taxonomic notes are provided.

Keywords: Menglian County, new taxa, section Racemosae, taxonomy



Figure 1. Bulbophyllum chrysolabium.
 A Habit B Flower, lateral view C Flower, frontal view D Dorsal sepal, petals and lateral sepals, adaxial view E Lip, lateral view F Lip, ventral view G Pollinia H Operculum, ventral view I Column, ventral view J Column and lip, lateral view.
 Scale bars: 2 cm (A), 2 mm (B–D), 1 mm (E–F, I–J), 0.2 mm (G–H). 
Drawn by Yun-Xiao Liu.


Figure 2. Bulbophyllum chrysolabium.
A Habitat B Inflorescences C Close-up of inflorescence D Flower, lateral view showing floral bract E Flower, frontal view F Dorsal sepal, petal and lateral sepal, abaxial view G Lip, ventral view H Column and lip, lateral view.
Scale bars, 1 mm (G), 2 mm (D–F, H).

Bulbophyllum chrysolabium L. Li & D.P. Ye, sp. nov.

 Diagnosis: Bulbophyllum chrysolabium is distinguished from all known congeners by having the following unique combination of features: obliquely broadly-based triangular petals with a long filiform apex; lip densely glandular papillose on both sides and conspicuously ciliolate along margins; lip auricles well developed, narrowly falcate, tapering to a long sharp point at the apex; stelidia subulate and twisted inwards, slightly exceeding operculum.

Taxonomic notes: Bulbophyllum chrysolabium appears to be related to B. orientale Seidenf. (Seidenfaden 1979: 138), especially in narrowly falcate lip auricles and twisted stelidia, but differs in distinctly longer floral bracts (almost twice as long as the pedicel and ovary); petals with long filiform apices, a rather smaller lip (ca. 2.8 mm long), significantly glandular-papillose and ciliolate at margins; stelidia slightly exceeding operculum and distinctly longer than column. With respect to filiform petals, B. chrysolabium is also superficially similar to B. morphologorum Kräenzl. (1908: 89), however, the latter have a fat, conical protuberance or callus on the front of the column near its base and scape much longer than rachis. In addition, it has subulate, not twisted stelidia, considerably longer than operculum; lip auricles not falcate, but rather obtuse at the apex. A detailed morphological comparison between B. chrysolabium and its allied species is presented in Table 1.

Distribution and habitat: So far known only from Menglian County in southwest Yunnan Province, China, growing as an epiphyte amongst mosses on the tree trunk near the edge of river in rather exposed circumstances in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest.

Etymology: The specific epithet comes from the Ancient Greek word chryso-golden” and the Latin derived labium labellum”, referring to the golden-yellow lip of the type.



 Lin Li, De-Ping Ye and Song-Jun Zeng. 2018. Bulbophyllum chrysolabium (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Malaxideae), A New Species from Yunnan, China. PhytoKeys. 111: 61-68. DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.111.28136

[Botany • 2018] Splitting Echinocactus: Morphological and Molecular Evidence support the Recognition of Homalocephala as A Distinct Genus in the Cacteae


Figure 1. Echinocactus platyacanthus from Querétaro B E. horizonthalonius from Chihuahua C Homalocephala texensis from Chihuahua D H. parryi from Chihuahua E H. polycephala subsp. polycephala from Sonora F Kroenleinia grusonii from Querétaro. Line bar in fruit photographs is 1 mm.

in Vargas-Luna, Hernández-Ledesma, Majure, et al., 2018.

Abstract
Molecular phylogenetic studies of the six currently accepted species in the genus Echinocactus have partially clarified certain aspects of its phylogeny. Most of the studies lack a complete sampling of Echinocactus and are based only in one source of data. Phylogenetic uncertainties in Echinocactus, such as the recognition of Homalocephala as a different genus from Echinocactus, the exclusion of E. grusonii or the affinities of E. polycephalus, are here resolved. Phylogenetic relationships of Echinocactus were reconstructed with a maximum parsimony, a maximum likelihood and a Bayesian approach including 42 morphological characters, four chloroplast markers (atpB-rbcL, trnH-psbA, trnL-trnF and trnK/matK) and two nuclear genes. The utility of these two nuclear regions related to the betalain cycles (DODA and 5GT) are explored and discussed in relation to their potential as phylogenetic markers. Concatenated analyses with morphological and molecular data sets, plus 13 indels (2847 characters and 26 taxa), show general agreement with previous independent phylogenetic proposals but with strong support in order to propose the recognition of a reduced Echinocactus and the recognition of Homalocephala at the generic level. These results recovered a polyphyletic Echinocactus as currently defined. The here-named HEA clade, recovers the species of Homalocephala, Echinocacuts and Astrophytum as a monophyletic group with strong internal support. The Homalocephala (H. texensis, H. parryi and H. polycephala), was recovered as sister to the Echinocactus clade (E. platyacanthus and E. horizonthalonius), plus the Astrophytum clade. Consequently, we propose here to recognise a monophyletic Echinocactus and a monophyletic Homalocephala as two distinct genera with their own molecular and morphological synapomorphies. The evolution of some morphological characters supporting these clades are discussed, the necessary new taxonomic combinations for Homalocephala are proposed and an identification key for the genera, the species and the subspecies of the HEA clade are presented.

Keywords: Cactaceae, HEA clade, morphological character evolution, North American Deserts





Figure 1. A Echinocactus platyacanthus from Querétaro B E. horizonthalonius from Chihuahua C Homalocephala texensis from Chihuahua D H. parryi from Chihuahua E H. polycephala subsp. polycephala from Sonora F Kroenleinia grusonii from Querétaro. Line bar in fruit photographs is 1 mm.

Conclusions: 
This is the first phylogenetic study that has evaluated and combined molecular data from chloroplast and nuclear genomes with morphology to test the monophyly of all species and subspecies of Echinocactus currently accepted. Here we reinforce the proposal of excluding Echinocactus grusonii from the genus. Nevertheless, the recognition of Kroenleinia grusonii must be deeply evaluated since phylogenetic relationships of the Ferocactus clade (including K. grusonii, Leuchtenbergia, Stenocactus, Thelocactus and Glandulicactus) are still unresolved. The well-known HEA clade was recovered as monophyletic with strong support. This clade is morphologically and molecularly well defined, suggesting its taxonomic recognition. Our results also support the proposal that Echinocactus, as currently accepted (excluding K. grusonii), should be considered as two independent lineages, the Homalocephala and the Echinocactus clades, each one with its own molecular and morphological diagnostic characters, and each one representing different genera. In this study, all of the analyses recovered E. polycephalus within the Homalocephala clade, supporting its inclusion in this taxon. Here we present the new taxonomic combinations for the species of Homalocephala and an identification key for the genera of the HEA clade and for all of their species and subspecies.

Homalocephala parryi (Engelm.) Vargas & Bárcenas, comb. nov.
Homalocephala polycephala (Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow) Vargas & Bárcenas, comb. nov.
Homalocephala polycephala subsp. xeranthemoides (J.M. Coult.) Vargas & Bárcenas, comb. nov.


 Mario Daniel Vargas-Luna, Patricia Hernández-Ledesma, Lucas Charles Majure, Raúl Puente-Martínez, Héctor Manuel Hernández Macías and Rolando Tenoch Bárcenas Luna. 2018. Splitting Echinocactus: Morphological and Molecular Evidence support the Recognition of Homalocephala as A Distinct Genus in the Cacteae.  PhytoKeys. 111: 31-59.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.111.26856

Thursday, November 15, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Gordodon kraineri • The Oldest Specialized Tetrapod Herbivore: A New Eupelycosaur from the Permian of New Mexico, USA


Gordodon kraineri 
Lucas, Rinehart & Celeskey, 2018
  DOI: 10.26879/899 

ABSTRACT
Gordodon kraineri is a new genus and species of edaphosaurid eupelycosaur known from an associated skull, lower jaw and incomplete postcranium found in the early Permian Bursum Formation of Otero County, New Mexico, USA. It has a specialized dental apparatus consisting of large, chisel-like incisors in the front of the jaws separated by a long diastema from relatively short rows of peg-like maxillary and dentary cheek teeth. The dorsal vertebrae of Gordodon have long neural spines that bear numerous, randomly arranged, small, thorn-like tubercles. The tubercles on long neural spines place Gordodon in the Edaphosauridae, and the dental apparatus and distinctive tubercles on the neural spines distinguish it from the other edaphosaurid genera—Edaphosaurus, Glaucosaurus, Lupeosaurus and Ianthasaurus. Gordodon is the oldest known tetrapod herbivore with a dentary diastema, extending the temporal range of that anatomical feature back 95 million years from the Late Triassic. The dental apparatus of Gordodon indicates significantly different modes of ingestion and intraoral transport of vegetable matter than took place in Edaphosaurus and thus represents a marked increase in disparity among edaphosaurids. There were two very early pathways to tetrapod herbivory in edaphosaurid evolution, one toward generalized browsing on high-fiber plant items (Edaphosaurus) and the other (Gordodon) toward more specialized browsing, at least some of it likely on higher nutrient, low fiber plant items. Gordodon shows a surprisingly early specialization of the dental apparatus and indicates how incomplete our knowledge is of edaphosaurid evolution, disparity and diversity.


FIGURE 2. Holotype skull, lower jaw and incomplete postcranium of Gordodon kraineri, NMMNH P-70796, photograph (1) and bone map (2). Scale equals 10 cm.


FIGURE 3. The skull and lower jaw, as preserved, of the holotype of Gordodon kraineri, NMMNH P-70796, in right lateral view, photograph (1) and line drawing (2). 
Anatomical abbreviations are: an = angular; ar = articular; d = dentary; ep = epipterygoid; f = frontal; l = lacrimal; m = maxilla; mtp = mandibular tooth plate; n = nasal; p = parietal; pf = postfrontal; pm = premaxilla; pr = prearticular; prf = prefrontal; pt = pterygoid; q = quadrate; qj = quadratojugal; sa = surangular; sm = septomaxilla; spl = splenial; sq = squamosal; st = supratemporal; t = tabular; v = vomer. Scale equals 1 cm.

SYSTEMATIC PALEONTOLOGY

SYNAPSIDA Osborn, 1903
EUPELYCOSAURIA Kemp, 1982
EDAPHOSAURIDAE Cope, 1882

Gordodon gen. nov.

Etymology. Gordo, Spanish for “fat,” and Greek odon, “tooth,” in reference to the large (“fat”) teeth at the anterior end of the snout of the holotype. Gordo also is a reference to the city of Alamogordo, near the type locality.

Diagnosis. Gordodon is a medium-sized edaphosaur (presacral length ~1 m) distinguished from the other edaphosaurid genera by: an unique dental apparatus consisting of large chisel-like incisors in the premaxilla and dentary (dentary incisors inferred from empty alveolus) separated by a long diastema from a relatively short row of peg-like maxillary and dentary cheek teeth and tooth plates with small (<1 mm) teeth on the interior surface of the mandible; preorbital skull length subequal to postorbital skull length; a relatively short nasal-maxilla suture; cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae with relatively gracile centra that are double-keeled ventrally; and cervical and dorsal vertebrae have long neural spines that bear up to 12 small, thorn-like lateral tubercles randomly distributed on each side.


Gordodon kraineri sp. nov.

 Etymology. To honor Karl Krainer for his many contributions to our knowledge of the late Paleozoic geology and paleontology of New Mexico.

Holotype. NMMNH P-70796, incomplete skeleton consisting of the skull, lower jaws, all or parts of 21 vertebrae (five cervical vertebrae, four complete dorsal vertebrae, the neural spines in varying states of completeness of 12 additional dorsal vertebrae), parts of five cervical and five dorsal rib pairs, parts of the right and left clavicles and scapulae and parts of two digits of the manus(?) (Figure 2).

Holotype locality. NMMNH locality 8967, Otero County, New Mexico, USA (Figure 1).

Stratigraphic horizon and age. Lower part of Bursum Formation, early Wolfcampian (early Permian).

....

 Life restoration of Gordodon kraineri.



Spencer G. Lucas, Larry F. Rinehart and Matthew D. Celeskey. 2018. The Oldest Specialized Tetrapod Herbivore: A New Eupelycosaur from the Permian of New Mexico, USA.   Palaeontologia Electronica. 21.3.39A; 1-42.  DOI: 10.26879/899  

Plain Language Abstract: Gordodon kraineri is a new kind of sail-backed reptile based on an incomplete skeleton found in ~300 million year old rocks in southeastern New Mexico. Gordodon belongs to a family of early herbivorous reptiles, the Edaphosauridae, and has a surprisingly specialized skull and dentition. These skeletal specializations indicate it was a selective browser on plants.